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Citichat 2008

Overview - inner city progress 2

THERE is an enormous amount of activity on the go at present in the Johannesburg inner city, and interesting proposals for next year.
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Overview - inner city progress

GOOD progress has been made under the Inner City Charter - transportation, community development, urban management, a spatial plan and upgrading the environment are all reflecting positive on-the-ground results. But plenty of commitments still need to be met.
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JHC takes its expertise northwards

THE Johannesburg Housing Company goes "outer city" with its Cosmo City project, while remaining committed to the "inner" city.
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Joburg: edging the Top Ten

JOBURG is getting a fair amount of recognition internationally, particularly in its placing near the top of the table of the first MasterCard Worldwide Centres of Commerce™: Emerging Markets Index.
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Talking about clean and green

JOBURG appears to be putting more effort into cleanliness, with a special capital injection for Pikitup. Now other spheres of government need to come on board, says Neil Fraser.
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New expectations, with Neil Fraser

IN light of the changes promised by Barack Obama to the way the US governs its cities, what can our cities expect from a new government?
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Neil Fraser visits Antwerp, Belgium

CHANGES for the better to a crime-infested red light district in Antwerp have given new meaning to its motto, "Het Schipperskwartier - een verleidelijk stukje Antwerpen".
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Colombia again, with Neil Fraser

ONE of the key decisions Medellin took in its revitalisation was to pour cash back into the city. Utilities are owned by the people through the Mayor's Office - and no profits leave the valley city.
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Neil Fraser looks to Colombia

THERE are some lessons to be learned from Medellin's commitment to putting the concepts of accountability, transparent public processes, a commitment to open public spaces, the culture of citizenship, high quality for all, and real delivery into practice.
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Neil Fraser looks down south

STANDARD Bank, I-prop and the Johannesburg Land Company have their sights set on the southwestern quadrant of the inner city, bringing much-needed development to the area.
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Ads are on Neil Fraser's mind

THERE needs to be greater control over outdoor advertising, and enforcement of City by-laws, if Johannesburg is to avoid massive, grubby, inappropriate ads.
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Neil Fraser looks at advertising

THE reason behind re-looking at by-laws may be to make them simpler, "but this does not appear to be the case with outdoor advertising".
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Neil Fraser visits Western Cape

HOSPITALITY is as varied as the architecture in many small towns and villages, where beautiful historical buildings have "South African modern" neighbours.
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Neil Fraser on CBD upgrades, part 2

CHANGE is rapidly gaining pace in downtown Johannesburg, with improvements being seen from Feitas and Vrededorp in the west, all the way across town to the fashion district and Bertrams in the east.
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Neil Fraser looks at CBD upgrades

UPGRADING of the inner city is growing, with large pockets of excellent work. Of the work under way, the Bus Rapid Transit system will have the most lasting and most significant effect on Joburg.
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Neil Fraser visits San Jose

OCCUPIERS of the degraded inner city building, San Jose, have moved after a court battle and successful negotiations with the City.
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Diagonal Street 2, with Neil Fraser

IN the second part of an exploration of Diagonal Street, memory and democracy are again pitted against "progress".
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Diagonal Street, with Neil Fraser

DEVELOPMENTS around the Diagonal Street precinct are an example of memory and democracy versus "progress".
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Neil Fraser looks at post office

IS there finally light at the end of the tunnel for the Rissik Street Post Office with some refurbishment plans from the provincial government in the pipeline?
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Naming dichotomy, with Neil Fraser

THE proposal to rename the whole of the R24 - running across the city from east to west - will necessitate the changing of 18 street names. Two of these names have great historical significance.
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Urban potpourri with Neil Fraser

FROM the restored Salisbury House in Jeppestown to the drop in office vacancies, by way of the Hillbrow Tower, the urban development zone, Woolworths and strange landscaping ideas, Neil Fraser has a full plate.
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City challenges, with Neil Fraser

A NEW book calls for a new urban agenda, recognising that what makes cities vital in the 21st century are complexity, density, diversity of people and cultures, the messy intersection of activities, among others.
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Tall tales with Neil Fraser

PLANS are afoot for two of Joburg's towers, while one landmark already has a fresh face and a new use - the Orlando cooling towers in Soweto.
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Neil Fraser looks at city pride

LET'S get up and do something; it is time to change the attitude of ordinary people - it's time for a massive Pride in our City campaign.
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Neil Fraser visits Braamfontein

THERE are some great developments in Braamfontein, and the "spring by the brambles" is looking good. Now it is time to build on these developments.
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Neil Fraser looks at BRT routing

THE imposition of the Bus Rapid Transit system on Joburg's grid may have huge implications for traffic congestion, worsening rather than improving the problem.
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Halala Joburg, writes Neil Fraser

NEW awards have recognised the hard work and dedication of several organisations and individuals in the regrowth of the Joburg inner city. The Halala Joburg Awards will now be an annual event.
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Neil Fraser checks charter progress

WORK seems to be steaming ahead regarding the Inner City Charter, with 86 percent of commitments achieved so far.
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Neil Fraser on Sapoa conference

PANELISTS at the annual conference of the South African Property Owners' Association point out that many of South Africa's challenges are not unique, but are felt on an international level, such as black outs, corruption, hardship and xenophobia.
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Going west to east with Neil Fraser

WORK is forging ahead in the inner city, with refurbishments keeping pace with changes being undertaken for the Rea Vaya bus system. It is great to see all this energy.
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Neil Fraser tells Newtown's tales

NEWTOWN was the birthplace of business in Johannesburg. Nearly a hundred years ago, deals were brokered over the telephone or in the streets, and those who were successful received the fictitious 'University of Newtown' certificate.
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Newtown meander with Neil Fraser

NEWTOWN is a vibrant area with a great history, with projects currently under construction, emerging or in the planning stages looking like they will provide a real boost to the precinct.
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Neil Fraser on liquor in the city

ALCOHOL was long used as a tool to control the poor, with the "captains of industry" influencing the government to pass laws that would pour the huge profits from the black liquor trade into their pockets.
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Entertainment in the mining town

THERE was plenty of fun to be had in early Joburg, with theatres and sports meetings a favourite way for the diggers to work off the stresses of the day.
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Turbine Square is 'phenomenal'

THE development of Turbine Square is a blueprint for how to meld old and new. The architects have used a "light touch" in turning part of historic Joburg into the headquarters of the AngloGold Ashanti powerhouse.
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Frenchfontein and swinging Joburg

PROSTITUTION flourished in Joburg's early days and, with its brothels, bars and canteens, Johannesburg was the swinging capital of the country.
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Likker and early Joeys

THE history of Johannesburg is well oiled with liquor - both legal and illegal. And the various governments have always had a hand in the spirits trade.
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Manoeuvring through the heritage hoops

CITICHAT'S Neil Fraser looks at the ins and outs of maintaining Joburg's heritage, drawing on national and local government policies.
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It's Easter egg awards time

READING through the progress report on the Inner City Regeneration Charter, it seems that there are few awards to be handed out.
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Vital signs seen in inner city

JOBURG'S inner city is emerging from decline, with a recovery in rental levels, a decline in vacancies and the return of "city infrastructure".
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Inner city charter update

THE Inner City Charter Partnership Forum has held its second meeting, and has reported a fair amount of work is under way in the inner city.
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Place management on the table

TWO British organisations are looking into the practical and the academic in place management. The essence of place management, they say, is the process of making places better.
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Some good news this month

FEBRUARY means Valentine's Day, the State of Nation and Province addresses, an important Constitutional Court ruling - and ballet.
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The fashion district 2

WHILE it has taken a while to get going, Neil Fraser still believes the fashion district is "all about visionaries who have the ability to turn dreams into on-the-ground realities".
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Fashion District seeds now reap harvest

NEIL FRASER looks back at the planning that went into the creation of the inner city's Fashion District. The strategising that was set in place a decade ago is now showing signs of growth.
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Beware the words of grumpy old men

FOR many people, the glass is always half empty. Instead of seeing the impressive strides Johannesburg has taken over the past few years, they focus on the negatives. In response, Neil Fraser points to numerous positives.
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Laundry lamentations

IT is now up to the courts to deal with the demolition of the historic Rand Steam Laundries buildings in Richmond, writes Neil Fraser.
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Taking to the city streets

MOVES are being made in the United States to make city streets safe for pedestrians. Johannesburg would do well to heed some of their ideas.
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‘A dream of no road deaths’

VISION Zero envisages no carnage on the roads. Developed and developing countries have tried and tested methods for cutting road deaths - we should follow the example.
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